|I have been at Solidarity Teacher Training College (STTC) for a little less than a week, but everyone has been so friendly and welcoming that I already feel like a member of this community. I have not only been visiting and observing, but actually participating, teaching classes, etc., and that has felt really good.
I have tried to find some time with each individual Solidarity member to learn more about why they felt called to come here, what they feel they have been able to contribute, and what they have learned and experienced. I will include some of those reflections in the days ahead.
The very contemplative looking guy in the photo is Br Chris Soosai, FSC. Br Chris assumed the role of principal of the college when the highly esteemed Sr Margaret Scott, RNDM, stepped down last Spring after thirteen years of leading this institution.
Br Chris is a serious guy, but I have also seen him dancing with the students in the yard, so there is a playful side underneath that serious demeanor!
Br Chris is a De LaSalle Christian Brother, the same congregation of Brothers for whom I have worked for the past 27 years at Saint Mary’s College of California. He is from India. Educated by the Jesuits, he told me that he was drawn to the Brothers because of the way they “accompanied” the students, not only being their teachers, but being like “Big Brothers” to them; teaching important subject matter, but also having fun and playing with them.
Br Chris became a De LaSalle Christian Brother and has had extraordinary experiences around the world, including his time teaching at a De La Salle school in the very cosmopolitan city of Hong Kong. Subsequently, Br Chris travelled to the USA, where he participated in one of the international formation programs of the Brothers and their lay associates, the Buttimer Institute, which at the time was held at Saint Mary’s College of California. He also completed a Master degree in Theology at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, another Christian Brothers institution, and has started a doctorate, progress on which has been interrupted by his assignment to come and work with Solidarity with South Sudan here at the STTC. Br Chris has been named by the Superior General of the Christian Brothers to be one of the capitulars at their next general chapter in Rome in May 2022.
At another time, I will tell you more about Sr Margaret, Br Sylvanus, and Sr Jacinta.